Today, September 7, 2017, the Washington State Superintendent of Schools released the 2016/17 test results for the Common Core annual test called SBAc. We wanted to be among the first to release the results.
As part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and it’s replacement, the ESSA, states are required to conduct annual tests to show their proficiency in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. There is no requirement to use any specific test…other than to get approval from the US Department of Education (USDoE). States that adopted Common Core (Washington did so) tended to adopt either the SBAc (Washington’s choice) or the PARCC testing system. Since these were rolled out the number of states that have withdrawn has grown. Today only a handful use PARCC and those using SBAc are down (last count) to 16 and falling.
Is there an issue with SBAc and if so what? The Common Core program is owned by a private consortium. The testing is produced by For-Profit companies. The test was pitched as a way to measure student performance as it relates to Common Core. It was pitched as “bench marked” and “validated”. Neither are true. It bears no resemblance to any past test; it can’t be compared to any past tests; the questions are so poorly worded and phrased in ways that are not like anything children are used to…and…it’s “adaptive” which means that if you answer questions right it gets harder and if you miss it gets easier. Oh…it’s all taken on computer…use of pencils and paper is OUT! If you would like to see some examples click: https://login10.cloud2.tds.airast.org/student/V203/Pages/LoginShell.aspx?c=Washington_PT
With that background let’s move on to the data just released by OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction). Here is a link to the press release: http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/PressReleases2017/StateTestScoreRelease.aspx
The easiest way to get a sense of the outcomes are to compare the 2015/16 year to 2016/17. You can look up your school district here: http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/summary.aspx?groupLevel=District&schoolId=1&reportLevel=State&yrs=2016-17&year=2016-17 At the top left you will see Washington State. Click that drop down box and you can choose any school district in the State. On the far right you will see the year (which is 2016/17 in the link). Open any 2 years and compare for yourself. You can also drill down to look at every school within a district for more detail.
In this blog report we will share the 2015/16 vs. 2016/17 results by school district for Southwest Washington side-by-side. You can look for more detail in the link(s).
Note: Some scores are “suppressed” This document explains why that would occur: Suppression_Overview_3v3
Washington State (as a whole) Remember: The percents you see are those who PASSED. Subtract these percents from 100 to get the % who failed!
Comment: With the exception of 7th grade ELA; 7th grade Math (by .1%); 6th grade math (by .2%) and 11th grade math every other measurement was down
Comment: 6th grade ELA improved; 11th grade ELA improved; 6th grade Math improved & 11th grade Math was up. Every other measure was down and many by LARGE percents.
Comment: 3rd grade ELA & Math up; 5th grade ELA up; 6th grade ELA & Math up; 11th grade Math up .1%. The rest down
Comment: 4th grade Math up; 7th grade ELA up; 11th grade Math up. There are some really poor scores here. When you see 6th grade math for 16/17 at 37.9% that means that 62.1% were FAILING!
Comment: 3rd grade math was up 20 points! 4th grade Math up; 5th grade math up; 6th grade ELA and Math up. Strange numbers…wild swings both up and down…why?
Comment: 4th grade Math up 1.4; 5th grade ELA up ~3 pts; 7th grade ELA and Math up notably. Some scores suppressed. There are some MAJOR declines.
Comment: 6th grade ELA and Math up sharply; 8th grade ELA and Math up nicely; Suppressed scores. A couple of increases but some large declines as well.
Comment: 3rd grade Math up; 5th grade Math up; 7th grade ELA up; 8th grade Math up slightly. Everything else down. 4th grade ELA dropped from 77.2 to 39 = 38.2 pt decline????
Comment: 7th grade ELA up over 4 pts; 8th grade ELA and Math both up slightly; 11th grade Math up 5pts. Everything else declined
Comment: 5th grade Math up; 7th grade Math up 6pts; 8th grade ELA and Math up nicely; 11th grade ELA and Math up (unusual vs other districts which mostly declined)
Comment: 5th grade ELA up; 6th grade ELA up 6pts; 8th grade ELA up; 11th grade ELA up slightly + Suppression. Overall these scores are very low.
- Scores declined in what appears to be 90%+ of all grades
- It’s impossible that children are doing this poorly. The likely culprit is the testing (on computers only) using question format and structure that is really difficult and poorly done
- Garbage in garbage out
- Tests are given in the March/April time frame (for the most past) which means that 20% of the school year is wasted
- They teach to the tests and these are the results…what’s happening to the future education of our children?
- District spend so much time on Social Emotional Learning; PBIS and other programs that don’t help with basic education
Is it time to return to the 3 R’s?
Is it time to “Opt-Out” of worthless testing that wastes precious time and money?